Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.Matthew 7:1-2
This is perhaps the most misused section of scripture in the Bible. It is used by those who want to continue in sin and say that no one has a right to tell them they are wrong. It is particularly disturbing when so-called Christians use these verses this way because it is a common tactic of those who have no interest in the Lord to justify their sinful “lifestyle.”
If Jesus intended that we never point at sin and attempt to correct it, then the 2nd half of Matthew chapter 5 makes absolutely no sense. Jesus repeatedly points out the sinful errors of the Pharisees and other “religious leaders” of His day. Jesus in the Sermon of the Mount and in multiple other occasions charged God’s people to walk in righteousness and defined what that meant!
Much like chapter 5, Jesus is pointing out the motivation behind action. If we are pointing out someone’s sin to make us feel better about ourselves, God will hold a similar standard for us, and chastise us for it. Further, no one knows the names of all of God’s elect. Therefore, it is sinful to condemn someone to eternal punishment for their behavior. In terms of eternal destiny, we are not the judge, Jesus is!
Consider Jesus’ words as recorded in the Gospel of Luke:
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:Luke 6:37
Jesus moves beyond judging the person to condemning the person. We cannot do this so we should not try. He continues with the same language of the model prayer in Matthew 6. If we are forgiving, then God will forgive us and our fellowship with Him will be a blessing.
John the Baptist came saying, “Repent!”
Jesus came saying, “Repent!”
All the Apostles preached and wrote, “Repent!”
This means there is a need to point out sin and encourage people to turn away from it. But in so doing, we are not do this for their harm or for our pleasure or self-justification. It should be done for their good as we seek the mercy of God in their lives.